AEW star Joey Janela, who has been with the company since it launched in 2019, did an interview with Denise Salcedo and addressed his contractual status…
“I said in a couple interviews with Sean [Ross Sapp] in September, that was All Out weekend I believe, I said ‘yes.’ As recent as an interview with Barstool Sports I said ‘yes.’ My contract’s up on May 1. And I am gonna have to say no now. I am not interested in signing with AEW. Re-signing with them.
I was a little scared getting back into the independent wrestling world and making money. You take those things for granted, you’re getting a paycheck every two weeks. A pretty good paycheck. In your head you’re like ‘sh*t, when this is over, this is gonna disappear.’ But I was born a hustler in this business. I was scared to get back into that world but now I am no longer scared. Back in the day before AEW, I was going out to wrestle for basically nothing. I was just doing it because I love it, I would do 3-4 shows a week. I would rack up small paydays from the promoters, plus my merchandise and I’d be satisfied and I’d be making a lot of money. But now my price has gone significantly up so I didn’t know if the promoters were gonna welcome me back with open arms. But recently I’ve realized that the promoters know the situation, they realize what the situation is gonna be and they’ve been hitting me up big time. They say ‘we want you to come back here. We want you to wrestle some of the newer guys we have. We want you to wrestle some of the older guys. We want that Joey Janela back.'”
“And I am happy and I am satisfied with what I did in those three years in AEW. It was a learning experience, and I am gonna say this in the most positive way possible without looking negative. AEW, those three years, was developmental for the rest of my career. I am so much sharper now, not only in-ring but business wise, I’ve learned so much in those three years. Now not only am I sharper myself, in all facets of the wrestling business, but also I can go to a young guy, I could go to a Nick Wayne and teach him some of the stuff I’ve learned in those three years. Or I can go to GCW or I can go to another promotion and teach them what I’ve learned on the other side of the curtain.”
“I am not sad at all. I did everything I wanted to do there. Within the six months I started there, my goal was to wrestle Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, main event TV, main event pay-per-view. Did it all. The only thing I didn’t get was an action figure. So be it. It’s over now and we’re just moving forward. I have no complaints, I thank Tony [Khan]. I just wish they were more… they’ve been doing this to people, they’ve been radio silent on the people they are letting the contracts expire, that’s why you have talent relations to talk to your talent and tell them what the situation is. If they are gonna have a paycheck coming in or if they are gonna be signed to a per-appearance deal, which some of the guys have agreed to. I would never agree on a per-appearance deal anywhere. My per-appearance deal is gonna be when I am booking myself all over the world, I am booked in six different countries coming up. Per appearance on the independent scene, I wanna be my own boss. That’s how I got my name out there, I was my own boss, and I had the most buzz outside of The Elite and that’s why I had this opportunity at AEW, that’s why I had this opportunity at All In. People say to me on the internet, ‘the only reason why you worked at AEW is because you were friends with the Young Bucks.’ I met the Young Bucks twice before AEW. I was one of the most successful self-promoting wrestlers in the world at that point. I am not sad about anything, I thank everyone there, I learned so much. I had ups and downs. COVID really killed me wrestling in front of no crowd, I really lost motivation, my back was shot out. The doctors told me my back is shaped like an ‘S’ because of all the wild stuff I have done in my career, that’s something that is scary to hear and ‘that’s why you’re not moving the way you should at 31 years old. It’s because your spine is shaped like an ‘S.” But that’s been fixed, I feel great I am back in shape. I just wish there was less radio silence on their end with me. I consider Tony a friend, I hung out with Tony a lot in the beginning days of AEW, I just wish they would talk to me. I know it’s come to an end. But I appreciate them, I appreciate the experience I had and I am gonna take everything I learned there and bring it with me for the rest of my career.” (quotes courtesy of F4WOnline.com)